Best Facts of the Month - Page 8

The movie 'Poltergeist' used real skeletons because they were cheaper than buying props!


Poltergeist was released in 1982 and was the most successful of the Poltergeist film trilogy. Steven Spielberg co-wrote and produced the first American horror film in the trilogy. The plot is of a Californian suburban family whose youngest daughter was abducted by malevolent ghosts who had invaded their home.

The film itself is considered cursed, because some of the people associated with the film have died very prematurely. The production used real human skeletons when filming the swimming pool scene. Many of the people on the set were alarmed by this and led others to believe the "curse" on the film series was because of using real skeletons.

Craig Reardon, a special effects artist who worked on the film, said at the time that it was cheaper to purchase real skeletons than plastic ones, as the plastic ones involved labor in making them. Williams was not afraid of the prop skeletons, but she was nervous working in water around so many electrically powered lights. Producer Spielberg comforted her by being in the water during her scenes, claiming that if a light fell into the pool, they would both be killed.

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The Hard Rock Cafe chain is owned by the Seminole Indian Tribe of Florida


When you think of Native American businesses, you might not know what to think.

It may come as a surprise, then, that the Seminole Tribe of Florida owns Hard Rock (as in the caf restaurants).

Hard Rock was originally founded in 1971 by Americans Isaac Tigrett and Peter Morton in London. In 1979, the cafe began covering its walls with rock and roll memorabilia, a tradition which expanded to others in the chain and has come to be expected by many.

The Hard Rock business was sold to the Seminole Tribe in 2006 for $965 million. Included in the deal were 124 Hard Rock Cafes, four Hard Rock Hotels, two Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Hotels, two Hard Rock Live! concert venues, and stakes in three unbranded hotels.

The Tribe isn't going in a completely different directions than other Native American tribes. They introduced "Vegas-style" table gambling in addition to the Class II slots already in operation at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood in 2008.

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Drug cartels used ice cream trucks as a cover--which worked until they started shooting at each other.


One of the best sights of summertime as a child was hearing the faint music of an ice cream truck and watching it slowly come into view as you try to shake your mom or dad down for some money.

People in the Strathclyde area of Glasgow were robbed of that since drug cartels used them to trade their product.

The last thing you wanted to see was an ice cream truck during the "Glasgow Ice Cream Wars."

When conflicts started to arise out of competing factions, things got hot in the ice cream business. And by ice cream I mean illegal hard drugs.

Drive-by shootings would occur regularly out of the large windows of ice cream trucks as they pelted other trucks with bullets.

The violence came to a head when one faction doused an 18-year-old's (who was described as a "frightener") front door step in gasoline and set it on fire. Five died in the fire and another later at the hospital.

No matter how funny it may have looked, the violence was all too real in this nasty drug war.

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During its war with Iraq, Iran used school-aged children to clear the ground for its troops by running over minefields!


Go to Iran if you want to witness severe human rights abuses. Iran is notorious for using “human waves” to clear minefields or draw enemy fire during war. It cost many lives, but the tactic worked sometimes. Volunteers were swept away by patriotism and martyrdom war propaganda presented by the government during the revolution. 

Children were encouraged through visits to the schools as an invasive media campaign. Boys aged nine to sixteen proudly and excitedly lined up to become martyrs. They wore white headbands to signify their embracing of death. An estimated 95,000 Iranian child soldiers were killed during the war. 

The Iraq-Iran War was intense and brutal for all citizens. Poison gas was released on citizens during stalemates. Neither side had enough artillery to keep progressing in the war. They turned to dirty tactics that took the lives of countless innocent people. Poison gas was even let loose inside schools, needlessly killing children. The war took a major toll on the nation.

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A Missouri man is a designated smoking area!


John Britton is a lobbyist at Jefferson City, Missouri. He's been doing it for over 50 years and has built a reputation for being quite a character. Among his bigger accomplishments is Missouri's really low cigarette taxes.

Due to how well known and effective John Britton is, he was designated by a 1996 Missouri Senate Resolution to be a designated smoking area. Smoking is permitted within 10 feet of Britton anywhere in Missouri. Britton is now 88 and smokes three packs a day. It was done as a joke, but the law actually went into effect and he can now smoke almost anywhere in the Missouri city.

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